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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Oklahoma

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Tahlequah Man Found Guilty Of Possession Of Unregistered Firearm

Defendant Possessed Grenade-Like Destructive Device With Explosives And Shrapnel

MUSKOGEE, OKLAHOMA - The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Oklahoma, announced that  WADE LEWIS RITCHIE, age 26, of Tahlequah, Oklahoma was found guilty, by a federal jury, for being a FELON IN POSSESSION OF FIREARM, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections Title 18, United States Code, Sections 922(g)(1), 924(a)(2) and 924(e) and POSSESSION OF UNREGISTERED FIREARM (DESTRUCTIVE DEVICE), in violation of Title 26, United States Code, Sections 5861(d), 5841 and 5871.  The jury trial began with testimony on Tuesday, May 3, 2016 and concluded on May 5, 2016 with the guilty verdict.

Evidence at trial proved that on or about July 10, 2015, within the Eastern District of Oklahoma, the defendant, WADE LEWIS RITCHIE, having been convicted of a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year, did knowingly possess in and affecting commerce, a destructive device, which is a firearm composed of components, at least one of which had been shipped and transported in interstate commerce and was not registered in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record.

The destructive device was an IED or grenade like device, containing 20 Thunder-pops wrapped in 2 different types of tape with 3 different sizes of screws added as shrapnel for injury inducing capabilities.

The verdict obtained was the result of an investigation by the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Department, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol Bomb Squad and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

The Honorable James H. Payne, District Judge in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Oklahoma, in Muskogee, presided over the trial and ordered the completion of a presentence report.  Sentencing will be scheduled following its completion.  The defendant was remanded into custody of the United States Marshal Service pending sentencing.

The statutory range of punishment is not less than 180 months imprisonment, up to a $250,000.00 fine or both.

Assistant United States Attorney Dean Burris represented the United States.

Updated May 5, 2016